A common worry by many photographers is the theft of their work when they share it on the Internet. A common way to protect yourself from this is to digitally watermark the images. That is, superimpose some sort of identifying mark that prevents any illegal use of the image, yet does not detract from the image itself. A tough challenge with many solutions.

As I explored this myself, I wanted a way to do this without having to directly manipulate my images; watermarking-on-the-fly as it were. Well, with a lot of experimentation, I finally settled on a method using PHP and Apache's Mod_Rewrite that solved this very nicely for me.

My solution allows me to watermark my image on the fly and at the same time, hide the ugliness of the URL, so that:

<img src="watermark.php?file=tree.jpg">

looks like to the browser/end user.

<img src="tree.jpg">

You can read my tutorial. I've linked it from an external server that has better capabilities to serve it than this server, so you'll be leaving this site to view it